It is difficult for parents to admit that their parenting methods may be the cause of their child being bullied. However, this is a possibility that all parents should address. In her book, Bullying How to Spot It, Karen Sullivan looks at over-parenting that can lead to your child being bullied. Here are ten that I found most fascinating:
1: Do you do your child’s homework? Although children need guidance, getting too involved in a child’s domain will only disempower your child and they will learn nothing but frustration and resentment.
2: Does your child have regular responsibilities around the house? Without responsibility, children do not learn self-respect or to use their own initiative.
3: Do you give your child praise for their efforts? Praise raises self-esteem and makes children want to try again. They will learn not to give up and to always try their best. This will help when dealing with bullies.
4: Do you reward good results? Good results at school, with household chores or extra curriculum activities, for example, should not go unrewarded. This will raise their self- esteem and help deal with bullies.
5: Do you value your child’s opinion? Your child should be able to express their opinion without fear of recrimination or punishment. They will be able to express themselves and bullies don’t like this.
6: Do you criticise the way your child looks or the way he acts? If you respect your child as an individual, they will become more confident and self-assured. Bullies don’t like self-assured children.
7: Do you take over when your child finds a task difficult? Children need to test their own problem solving skills, they cannot do this if parents continually solve problems for them. Problem solving will help them to figure out how to deal with bullies.
8: Do you spend quality time with your child and just listen? Children who are offered a listening ear rather than constant advice learn problem solving skills, which helps to deflect the bullies.
9: Do you get involved in arguments between children? Children need to learn negotiating skills, self-defence and understand how people operate together. Children that are reliant on their parents to fight their battles will not become resilient.
10: Do you always make decisions for your child? Over dominating parents do not allow children to make their own mistakes or decisions.
Make a change for the better today.
How to stop it
By Karen Sullivan